Fred was born and brought up in Thurstaston. His parents were Oliver Carr (1864 – 1934) and Sarah Brookes (1866 – 1938), both of whom were born in Burwadsley in Cheshire and who married in about 1885. Fred was one of 11 children, three of whom died in infancy. In both 1901 and 1911, the family was living in one of the five-roomed railway cottages in Thurstaston, next-door to Oiver’s brother, Fred (born in about 1870 in Burwardsley). Both Fred and Oliver were railway platelayers. By 1911 Fred junior was working as an errand boy, just like his younger brother Oliver. Thurstaston must have been one of the most pleasant villages in Wirral, but clearly it was not blessed with job prospects for the young,
Due to the lack of records, we do not know when Fred joined the army, but his medal card says that he went to France on 26th September 1915. His brigade was a Scottish territorial unit which served as part of the 51st (Highland) Division. At some point, Fred was awarded the Military Medal for mending telephone wires under heavy fire.
On 19th July 1918, perhaps in the Arras area where his Division was fighting, he was wounded by shrapnel which penetrated his shoulder and knee. He was taken to hospital and seemed to be doing well: he sent some cheery letters home and a Thurstaston parish newsletter looked forward to his “complete recovery”. Sadly, their hopes were never realised as the poor young man died some eleven days later and was buried in a nearby cemetery.
Birth: c.1895 in Thurstaston
Death: 30th July 1918, aged 23
Addresses: 4 Railway Cottages, Thurstaston (01-18)
Occupation: Errand Boy (11)
Unit: “A” Battery 256 Brigade, 51st Division
Number and Rank: 52019 Gunner
Medals: Military Medal, 1915 Star, Victory and British War
Commemorated and Buried: GH, Thurstaston, France: St. Sever Cemetery Extension Rouen Q.IV.H.7.
Sources: BR, CWGC, SDGW, MC, DA, Census: 01, 11